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Need Advise on 22 Month Old Sleep Habits

I have a beautiful 22 month old boy. I just wanted some advise on getting him to go to sleep on his own at night. He goes to sleep on his own at daycare when it is nap time but at home he doesn't want me to put him down at nap or night. I am still sitting and rocking him to sleep, same night time routine every night. It is so easy to put him to sleep like this and he is a great sleeper. Any advise from anyone who has continued to put their baby to sleep like this, did they eventually grow out of it and go to sleep on their own. I think in my case he misses me. I work all day and we get home around 5:30 and he goes to sleep between 7/7:30, so there is not much time to spend together. I don't mind rocking him to sleep as I like the bonding and the time spent with him. Just wondering if I should stop it now or go ahead and continue. I did try putting him down a couple of months ago and it worked great for 3 nights, he cried for only about 2 minutes and was asleep but then he started teething so that ruined it. Anyways, any advise would be great. Again, I dont' mind rocking the little guy to sleep :), just hope I don't pay for it later.

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Thanks everyone for your feedback. I am probably going to continue rocking him until at 24 months. I have tried laying him in his crib and telling him its time to go night/night now and mommy and daddy are going night/night also. He lays down but wants me to stand there the entire time but then he gets up and plays with his stuffed animals etc and then lays back down. When I leave the room he cries and I come back in and he lays down. Anyway, I will work on it more when he is 2, so another month or 2. Thanks everyone. It was good to hear that there are so many still rocking there babies to sleep. Its hard to give that up when you have so little time to spend with them as it is, especially as a working mom.

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As a working mother who also does school I agree with outhers that you should continue to rock him, spend the time with him that you can. You probably will be best to put him down drowsy rather than asleep though because if he goes to sleep drowsy then it will be easier for him to go to sleep on his own later.

Hi K.,

It sounds like you are blessed with a good sleeper and you won't pay for rocking him (too much) in the end.

I wanted to share with you that my 28 month old, who has been rocked to sleep at nap time all of his life, has recently been sliding off my lap and asking to have quiet time instead of a nap. 15 mins later I find him sleeping - LOL! So, it is possible for them to outgrow being rocked.


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With my first son, I rocked him to sleep everynight. I always wanted to hold him, I didn't mind rocking him, and loved the time spent together. However, my son is now 5. And I still have to rock him sometimes. He has a hard time going to sleep on his own and just last night, he cried until I had to go in and lay with him to go to sleep. The peditrician told me when he was 18 months that if I didn't stop rocking him now I would be rocking a 5 yr. old to sleep and it is so true.

What made it difficult was when we had our second son. I had to give up time with him and get him self soothing and falling alseep on his own, so I had time to rock my older son to sleep. When my husband and I were both ready for our older son to sleep on his own, it was a constant struggle. He cried all the time, would wake up in the middle of the night and wanted to be rocked. It was the only way we could get him to sleep. When we stopped rocking him to try to get him to fall asleep on his own, it would be hours before he would go to sleep, and sometimes we were up unitl 11-12 am still trying to get him to fall asleep without rocking him.

You will pay for it later if he does not learn to self sooth and fall asleep on his own. At the age of 5 we are just now getting him to fall asleep on his own, but like I said sometimes I am still rocking a 5 yr. old.

As for my second son, I would always make sure that I layed him slightly awake when I put him in his crib at night to go to sleep. He has never had a problem sleeping on his own. I would rock him too, but make sure that I lay him down before he feel asleep in my arms and I have never had a hard time getting him to sleep on his own. As long as they fall asleep knowing that they are in their bed then, as for my 2nd son anyway, are okay with going to sleep on their own. My first son I rocked until he was alseep, so he always knew he was in my arms when he slept.

Just a side note after reading some of the other responses. I did not listen to the peditrician when he advised me to get my son to fall asleep on his own. I thought what is it going to hurt if I rock him, I enjoy this time. I thought I would not be rocking him at 5., and you night think now its not so bad to rock a 5 yr. old, but when your tired, and if you eventually have other kids, and you will want time with your husband, and you have to rock your son for an hour to get him to go to sleep, you will mind.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.,
I agree with Kristi's advice. While I loved rocking and holding my daughter at bedtime I know from personal experience that teaching a child to fall asleep on their own is VERY important. My mother always rocked, held or laid down with me until I was asleep and now at 36 yrs old I have a very hard time falling asleep. I'm not saying to quit rocking, just rock until he is drowsy and then put him in bed so he can fall asleep on his own. I have always had a routine with my daughter and would put her in bed at the end. Sometimes she was awake and sometimes she was asleep. All our friend were amazed that I could put her in bed awake and she would talk a little before falling asleep. No crying at all. We still rock and snuggle each night but when the music goes off she knows it is time to get in bed.

If you don't mind the routine, I say rock away! It sounds like much needed cuddle time with your little one. I'm in a very similar situation with my 13 month-old (my husband and I work full-time and she's in bed by 7:30). I figure--hey--she won't want me rocking her to sleep forever. This is treasured time together.
Keep on cuddling!

Hi K.,
It sounds like you've already gotten some good encouragement to keep on rocking and I fully agree. My little one is 25 months and I still rock her to sleep. I just know that this stage will go by quickly so just enjoy that special time together, especially since you have to be away from him all day.

Peace, B.

just think you won't be rocking him to sleep when he is 15...i say keep rockin, enjoy the time with him..i don't see you "paying for anything later" that would be so bad. so he may need a rub on the back before bed? sounds like being a mom to me :)

I think each child is unique, and we should trust our instincts as Moms. My daughter used to be rocked to sleep as well, but outgrew it. She is 27 monthes old now. My son outgrew needing to be rocked already, and he is only 7 monthes old. You'll know when you and your son are ready!

Hi! My 24 month old was a great sleeper, but when we temporarily moved into my parent's home during our kitchen remodel, he had a hard time going down. At first we stayed with him, etc., but realized we were creating a bad habit. I tried to put him down and tell him it was time for bed--not so good. Oddly enough, what really worked was an act of serendipity. My very old dog needs to take medication every night and getting home later than usual one evening, I told my son..."oh no, I forgot to give Angus his meds..please be good and go to bed so that I can help Angus not cough and feel better, and I'll check in on you in a little bit." That was it! It worked and I wasn't lying to him or anything..but I soon learned to make that a routine. He didn't want to be sent to bed, but if you honestly have to do something else, "get lunch ready for tomorrow, feed the dog, etc.," perhaps he might be a little bit empathetic??? Worth a shot, anyway! Oh..and I'm all for rocking, that magical time of bonding that won't last forever, but sometimes life calls and it's nice to have alternatives and know that they will still get a good night's sleep!

Good luck.

Hi K.,

It sounds like you are blessed with a good sleeper and you won't pay for rocking him (too much) in the end.

I wanted to share with you that my 28 month old, who has been rocked to sleep at nap time all of his life, has recently been sliding off my lap and asking to have quiet time instead of a nap. 15 mins later I find him sleeping - LOL! So, it is possible for them to outgrow being rocked.


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